Tutor Tanith

Is black just black? And does it matter?

The direct print process is not set up for a high level of color accuracy. Factors that will influence color include differences in surface or fabric type, differences in moisture levels, differences in inks, differences in the way various printers "translate" the color values and more. Usually these differences are small. Designers tend to notice these differences more than the customers. They may be more noticeable (maybe a lot noticeable) when directly comparing two very different products. Ceramics will print with a different color range than the posters, and that color range will be slightly different from the direct printed apparel, which will differ some from the heat transfer and also from the dark apparel process.

In the direct print process as designers we are often better off just building into our designs a degree of tolerance for some shifting. Also, our perception of color can be heavily influenced by what else is nearby. The demonstration below is of five shades of black. There are four that are based on CMYK - all have 100% black as a base, then for three of them, one each was added 100% C or M or Y. The fifth is RGB black (000000). It was fun to put together because when the slides are shown individually it is difficult to tell the various blacks apart, but when seen together the differences are obvious.

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So what is the point of this? Mostly to show explore color perception.

Another important point is the influence of the light source. An object seen in flourescent light will be percieved differently than one seen in sunlight or incandescent light.

If the only point you take away from all this is that precision isn't critical then this presentation has been successful.

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